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Your Credit Report & Tips To Maintaining Your Credit
Credit Reports generally contain five types of information:

  • Identification Information: Information such as the name of the individual, current and previous residential addresses, and Social Security number.
  • Trade Line Information: Detailed information reported by creditors and other furnishers on each current and past loan, lease, or other debt (such as utility and medical debts). 
  • Public Record Information: Information derived from financial related public records, such as records of bankruptcies, foreclosures, tax liens, garnishments, and other civil judgments. 
  • Collection Account Information: Information reported by collection agencies regarding credit accounts and other debts. 
  • Inquiry Information: Identities of individuals or companies that have requested information from an individual's credit file; the date of inquiry; and an indication of whether the inquiry was by the consumer, for the review of an existing account, or to help the inquirer decide on a potential account.

Unfortunately, an alarming number of these files (credit reports) contain serious errors and could cause the denial of credit, a loan, or a job. Monitor your credit report and minimize or eliminate future credit problems. Remember, keeping a 'clean' credit report is essential to your financial well-being.

Your credit report acts as your financial references when you apply for new credit. Whether you’re trying to build credit for the first time or want to re-build your credit standing, the only way to build a strong credit history is to use credit wisely. Following are 5 tips to Live Credit Smart:

  • Get a copy of your credit report - Your personal credit report is an easy-to-read record of your credit accounts and total indebtedness. It is a good idea to review your credit report at least once a year.
  • Know your credit score - A credit score translates the information in your credit report into a number reflecting the risk of doing business with you. While there are many different types of credit scoring models, a higher score generally represents lower risk. 
  • Provide complete, accurate and consistent identification on your credit applications - This helps set up your credit history correctly from the beginning, ensures that your new accounts will be matched to the correct report and minimizes the chance that your credit file will be incomplete.
  • Have some credit, but not too much - A credit history shows creditors how you manage your debts. Having no credit history can make it difficult to qualify for new credit because creditors have no information to help them make a lending decision. 
  • Pay your bills on time - Late payments, called delinquencies, negatively impact your credit scores and affect your ability to get credit, since they indicate a stronger likelihood that you will make late payments again or will be unable to pay your debts in the future.


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